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Building offering studio space for artists set to open its doors this week in Springfield

New Moon Studio Space on E. Bennett in Springfield (photo taken August, 2023)
Michele Skalicky
New Moon Studio Space on E. Bennett in Springfield (photo taken August, 2023)

Starting this week, there will be a new space for artists to work in Springfield. New Moon Studio Space will open its doors on Friday, September 1.

Kate Baird and her husband Mike Stevens have been working for a couple of years to offer a place where artists and other creative types can rent space to work. Now, they're preparing to New Moon Studio Space in the old Junior League of Springfield building at 2574 E. Bennett. The two-story building was previously Oak Grove School.

A room inside New Moon Studio Space on E. Bennett in Springfield (photo taken August, 2023)
Michele Skalicky
A room inside New Moon Studio Space on E. Bennett in Springfield (photo taken August, 2023)

Baird and Stevens had begun work on the old Doling School building on Atlantic as a place for artists. But that proved to be too big of a project due to the extensive work that needed to be done.

Baird said, last spring, she learned that the Junior League had moved, and their building was up for sale. She knew it was perfect when she walked in the door. Plus, her dad, who’s 76 and two of her uncles had attended school there.

She wanted a building with a history as a place of learning and that was part of a neighborhood, and this one fit the bill.

"I think that that makes a difference to people who are involved in some sort of creating, searching process, like to be part of something that has a past and hopefully has a future and also, like, has other people's lives kind of in the air and in the structure," she said. "I think it makes some kind of intangible difference."

Artists have the ability to work in a private space, but they can also interact with others. Baird said, for many artists, that’s important.

"Sometimes creative work can be really isolating," she said, "so, even just the sense that other people are around engaged in a similar kind of work is meaningful to a lot of people."

After a bit of work to get the building ready for use as a space for artists, some will begin working there Friday. As of a couple of weeks ago, eight artists had signed leases for a place to create at New Moon Studio Space. They include a screen printer, a mask maker and photographers.

Jenny Green inside her studio at New Moon Studio Space on E. Bennett in Springfield (photo taken August, 2023)
Michele Skalicky
Jenny Green inside her studio at New Moon Studio Space on E. Bennett in Springfield (photo taken August, 2023)

Jenny Green is the screen printer and is also a painter. She recently retired from teaching and said she’s ready to try something new.

"At night I'd be like — to my husand — you know, 'I wonder what I'll do with my life?' And he was like, 'I don't know, but I think it's going to be great,' and then this just happened, and it feels — I think oftentimes don't we all second guess ourselves? But I feel really good about this," she said. "I think I'm on the path I'm supposed to be on."

Her excitement about having a space dedicated to her art was obvious. She said, as long as she can sell enough work to pay for the studio space and supplies, she’ll be happy.

Baird will work in the space, too. She hopes the New Moon Studio Space will benefit the city’s cultural scene. Having a space like that, she said, is an important part of growing an arts community.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.